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Live Reviews

Oneida And Teeth Of The Sea: Psych In The Head
John Doran , August 21st, 2009 08:32

John Doran and Luke Turner are feeling very psych and ill today as they experience the celestial headfuck of TOTS and Oneida live. Pictures: Maria Jefferis

All pictures courtesy of

Oneida are a band for our times. All the hoopla about LP trilogies made up of treble albums is undoubtedly enough to put some off. And that’s a shame because not only are they a psych rock band, they’re a psych rock band for well into the new millennium. Quietly (albeit extremely loudly) they’re dropping dubstep, ragga, techno and post metal into their outlier space jams. They’re innovators man. What do you see when you see a spaceman? Oneida know the answer to this joke.

We’re trapped in a kaleidoscopic vortex of noise and light when they come on. “YEAH! Fucking yeah London! We’re really happy to be here! You’re here but you’re not in the place yet! 'You're not in the place yet but when you're in the place then you'll know you're in the place and we're going to take you there!” screams Hanoi Jane, singer and guitarist. Or something to that effect.

Now this kind of caper is only ridiculous when the band doesn’t “take you there”; Oneida most certainly do. Joining him and the other two main members, Bobby Matador (keys and vocals) and Kid Millions (drum lord) are Showtime on extra guitars and Snaps on extra keyboards.

It should be pointed out that they aren’t hippies. They’re too fucking good for that nonsense. It’s too precise; too turn-on-a-die.

The Rocket Records light show is insane and reminds me not to have any of Edd’s acid when I go to Wales. Looking like J Mascis’s bedraggled brother, Walthamstow’s finest Nick Saloman from cult psych band The Bevis Frond comes on to add extra guitar to ‘Kaddenium’ and ‘All Arounder’. The latter gets slowed down and slowed down until it almost breaks apart but then Saloman’s crazy licks come in, warm and lysergic. That’s it; it’s like being coshed by a rainbow. Set the controls for the heart of the stun.

The best bit is ‘Up With People’ which is disco metal at its finest. 140+ BPM with glitterball stabs and skittering hi-hats, like Chrome Hoof’s ‘Tonyte’. Like we said, cometh the hour, cometh the band. . . .